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Tuesday 01 January 2013

The Rainfall Facts for Us

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the main feature of 2012 was the rainfall. We did have a relatively dry start to the year with below average totals for February and March. Droughts of almighty proportions were predicted with suggestions that no matter how much it rained the situation would takes years to correct itself. It hasn’t stopped raining much at all following those predictions which turned out to be absolute rubbish.  

By the end of December we had 879mm of rainfall in Ossett compared with an expected 652mm or around a third more than we might expect on average.

Our average temperature for 2012 of 9.71°C was more than one degree centigrade cooler than 2011 which averaged 10.95°C.

Let’s hope for a warmer and drier 2013!

Wednesday 02 January 2013

A Lucky Shot

The new year has got off to a mild start with the temperature making it into double figures again. We didn’t have any sunshine today unlike Tuesday when we had some nice sunny spells.

As it was dull and there isn’t much to do outside, besides which I’m still resting my nose, I decided to try a little bit of bird photography. I was rather lucky that this female blackbird perched long enough in our magnolia tree for me to focus my camera whilst she decided which treat to go for.

Thursday & Friday 03/04 January 2013

Goldfinch Wars

The weather has been stuck in a drab phase for the last couple of days with the mild and dull spell continuing at the expense of any sunshine. As the temperature managed 12.3°C on Thursday I thought this might be some sort of record for January but that’s still held by 13 January 2011 when the thermometer managed 13.1°C.

So the weather was another chance to practice taking some bird videos. In the firing line this time was our charm of goldfinches as they squabbled over rights to sunflower hearts from the feeder.

I have to be honest as I’m a bit responsible for some of the squabbling. There’s a clever adjustable balancing mechanism built into the feeder so if too much weight is placed on the perching ring the seed hole ports are closed. This is primarily to stop squirrels from feeding but I’ve adjusted it quite finely to stop half a dozen sparrows at a time sitting on the ring until the feeder is empty. The upshot is that our goldfinches have fathomed out that three goldfinches at a time is the limit, should a forth arrive somebody has to be persuaded to leave.

A couple of sparrows are able to perch for sunflowers, as can a couple of greenfinches or chaffinches. I’ve even seen a starling try but without any success.

Saturday 05 January 2013

Keeping Qualities

Not much to say about the weather as the dull, mild spell continued.

Our Peasgood Nonsuch apples stored in the garage fridge are still in good condition. We can’t be absolutely certain about the variety but with such a wonderful sounding name, and  it’s a variety we planted at one time, we’ll stick with it.

It’s a bonus crop as these apples are from a cordon tree growing behind our greenhouse which was cut down long ago and sort of regrew behind our backs and now produces a delicious crop of cooking apples which store very well.

Our onions are a different story. It wasn’t that easy to get our crop dried off last autumn and that problem is now being high-lighted amongst our onions in store.

I don’t think this one will make the pot as it’s only any good for the compost heap unlike the apples which might just find their way into a crumble.

Monday 07 January 2013

Enjoying the Mild Weather

The first week of January has been exceptionally mild both by day and by night. The downside is that it’s been dull and cloudy all week with just a few brief spells of sunshine breaking through the gloom.

It’s  very similar start to last January which was mild. Although the forecaster’s are predicting some colder weather its duration and intensity are tricky to quantify.

We made the most of the mild weather to visit RSPB Old Moor. The sun didn’t manage to make an appearance until late afternoon just as we were about to leave.  

As for the birds, well they obviously expected a visit from us and tried to stay well out of reach of our camera lenses.